ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AWARENESS AMONG SCHOOL TEACHERS

 

Vipinder Nagra

 

 

INTRODUCTION

The goal of environmental education is to develop a world population that is aware of and concerned about the environment and its associated problems and who has the knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations and commitment to work individually and collectively towards solution of current environmental problems and prevention of new ones. School system provides the largest organized base for environmental education and action. It offers an effective instrument for embedding in them the desirable environmental ethics. Teacher is one of the important factors, which is bound to affect this programme. Teachers can provide a vital link in the delivery of environmental knowledge, its associated problems and their solutions. Taking into consideration this situation, the investigator felt a need to conduct a study to examine whether residential background has any effect on the environmental education awareness of school teachers along with their level.

 

HYPOTHESES

1. There will be no significant difference between the environmental education awareness of schoolteachers in relation to level.

2. There will be no significant difference between the environmental education awareness of schoolteachers in relation to residential background.

3. There will be no significant interaction between the level and residential background upon environmental education awareness.

 

METHOD

Sample

The sample consisted of 3600 school teachers of Punjab, selected using stratified random sampling technique from the  districts  of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahar and Gurdaspur. There were 1800 elementary and 1800 secondary school teachers  from urban and rural  areas.

 

Tool

The study was conducted with the help of self-made questionnaire. The reliability coefficient of the questionnaire by test- retest method was   +0.99. After standardizing the tool, the final draft of the questionnaire consisted of 100 multiple-choice items.  Each correct test item was given a weightage of one mark and each wrong response or omitted item received zero mark. As there were 100 items, an individual could get a maximum score of 100.

 

Statistical Techniques

The two way (2*2) ANOVA technique and t- tests were employed for the analysis and interpretation of data and for testing the hypotheses. Means, standard deviations, maximum scores, minimum scores, medians were calculated. Scores were arranged into various quartiles (0-25, 26-50, 51-75, 76-100) to know about the number and percentage of respondents who have low, moderate, high and very high environmental education awareness. .

 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The results obtained for the main effects and interactions of factors were as follows: ANOVA results showed that  the F-value for level of schoolteachers in the mean environmental education awareness test scores was 15.32, which was statistically significant at both levels (P<.01 and P<.05). Hence, it was concluded that level of school teachers affect their environmental education awareness. Further, the mean of elementary school teachers (64.28) was lower (p<0.01) than that of secondary school teachers (66.04) showing a difference of 1.76. The  ‘t’ value  calculated  for this group difference was 3.90, which was significant at 0.01 level. This significant difference showed that secondary school teachers had a higher level of environmental education awareness than elementary school teachers. The percentage distribution of the respondent’s scores in the highest quartile of secondary teachers was 26.8%, which was higher than that of elementary teachers, which was 22.2%. All these findings revealed that there exists significant difference between both the levels of school teachers. Hence, H1 was rejected. The F-value  for residential background of schoolteachers in the mean environmental education awareness test scores was 1.24, which was statistically significant at both the levels (P<.01 and P<.05). Hence, residential background  of school teachers does affect their environmental education awareness. It was further noted that the mean of urban teachers (66.22) was higher than that of rural teachers (64.1) showing a difference of  2.12. The ‘t’  value calculated  for this group difference was 4.71, which was also significant at 0.01 level. Hence, urban teachers had a higher level of environmental education awareness than the rural teachers. The findings of Patel and Patel (1994), Pradhan (1995), Pareek and Sidana (1998) and Pradhan (2002) also suggested that there exists significant difference in the environmental awareness level in relation to residential background. Even the percentage distribution of the respondent’s scores  in the highest quartile of urban teachers was 26.8% which was higher than that of rural teachers, which was 22.2%. All these findings support the assumption that there exists significant difference between urban and rural school teachers. Hence,  H2 was rejected. The F value for the interaction of variable, level and the residential background of school teachers (A x B) was 0.54, which was insignificant at both the levels (P<.01 and P<.05) . This showed that there does not exists an interaction effect between the variables i.e., the level of schoolteachers along with residential background. Hence, H3 was accepted.      

 

CONCLUSION

The secondary school teachers showed significant variation in environmental education awareness than elementary school teachers. This suggests that level influences the environmental education awareness of teachers. The urban and rural school teachers showed significant variation in environmental education awareness highlighting that residential background affects the environmental education awareness of the school teachers. There was insignificant interaction between level and residential background upon environmental education awareness. However, independently both varied in their results. Teachers should have the necessary level of environmental education awareness. Pertinent steps have to be taken to prepare environmentally conscious teachers. More attention  should be given for  teachers,  teaching at school levels. Environmental education programmes should be included in both in-service and pre- service  programmes meant  for  elementary as well as rural teachers.

 

REFERENCES

Nachimuthu, K. & Vijayakumari, G. (1993) An urgent need for environmental education. The Educational Review

Pareek, M. & Sidana, A.K. (1998) Environmental awareness among secondary school students. Educational Review

Patel, D.G. and Patel, N.A. (1994) Environmental awareness of the primary school teachers. The Progress of Education LXVIII, 10-11, 234-236.

Pradhan, G.C. (1995) Environmental awareness among teacher trainees. University News 33, 40, 10-14.

Pradhan, G.C. (2002) Environmental awareness among secondary school teachers: a study. The Educational Review 45, 2, 25-27.